The Highlander Upon the Congaree

11 Apr

Highlander Off the Ways.

The steamer “Highlander” came off the ways at Skinner’s yesterday and her cabin is being braced now, preparatory to the sea trip around to the river and up to Columbia, S. C., from which point she will be operated.  It is not known when the steamer will be transferred to her new home port as much depends on the weather.

[Wilmington Star? – February 15, 1904]

River Steamer Proceeded Down the
Coast, Bound For Georgetown

After a succession of delays due to adverse weather conditions and other causes, the steamer Highlander passed over the bar at 8.40 o’clock this morning bound for Georgetown, S. C., whence she will proceed to Columbia on the Santee and Congaree rivers.  The boat is expected to arrive at Georgetown by 4 o’clock this afternoon.  The steamer Sanders accompanied her as far as Little river.  The weather and the sea were perfect for the trip.

Mr. T. D. Love, the owner, is on the Highlander and will accompany her to Columbia.  He will be the manager of the new line between Columbia and Georgetown.

[Wilmington Dispatch – March 10, 1904]

“The Highlander,” the new boat to run between Columbia and Georgetown, arrived in the city yesterday afternoon at 5.30.  She is at the dock in rear of the opera house.

[The Sunday Outlook – Georgetown, SC – Saturday Night March 12, 1904]

Had a Successful, but Somewhat
Hazardous Trip.
Whistle of Columbia’s First Steamer
Of Commerce Was Sounded at
“Old Granby” Last Night.

The Highlander is here.  It was a hard trip, but was made without accident.  After leaving Georgetown the boat was in motion but 35 hours, covering a distance of 212 miles, at the rate of six miles an hour up stream.  Considering the many disadvantages, the trip was made in short time.  The Highlander carried but a small cargo as the manager of the boat line, Mr. T. D. Love, declined to handle much freight on the initial trip.  His boat draws 23 inches without any cargo, and he did not want to take any risks the first time up the river.

It was Thursday night when the boat left Georgetown with the ears of the crew ringing with the cheerful prediction of the people of the lumber city that the boat would never reach Columbia.  And it was a hazardous trip – but the boat is here, having not once encountered unsuccessfully those hidden dangers of which warning had been given.  The delays commenced as soon as Georgetown was left.  Crossing the Winyah bay, eight miles from Georgetown, the Highlander entered the government canal which leads from the bay to the Santee river – for the city of Georgetown is 13 miles from the Santee and it is only by the use of this canal that boats can go from Columbia to the coast city.

It was in this canal that the dredge was found grounded, and the Highlander’s course was impeded until the tide came in and the dredge got off.  The canal has sufficient water to float boats of considerable draught, but the dredge was grounded unaccountably.  Friday morning the Highlander got under way again and made good time up the Santee, although the trip was made more trying because the Wateree river is on a boom and a rise of 15 feet was encountered in the Santee some miles below the mouth of the Wateree.

The trip was made slowly, as much with the view to locating landings and places at which to buy wood as to avoid possible obstructions.  Down near the Northeastern bridge the smokestacks of the Louise were found sticking out of the water.  Mr. Love had been offered an option on the sunken river steamer which had been plying the Santee for a distance of 100 miles up the stream, but he knows nothing of her machinery and her hull is 20 years old, so he did not purchase the stranded Louise.

The Hidden Dangers.

The voyage was without incident except for the fact that hundreds of “sinkers” were encountered, and the boat had to be guided around them.  It is this which makes the channel hazardous.  The snag boat Pee Dee had removed many such obstructions, and the only suggestion which is offered by the crew of the Highlander is that the coves along the shore should be kept clear of debris, for in making a bend in the river the prow of the boat is sometimes thrust into these coves, and the obstructions should be removed.

The “sinkers” are logs from trees which had been tapped for turpentine.  One end of such a log is heavier than the other and sinks into the water.  The lighter end frequently is carried below the surface of the water and remains a menace to boats coming up stream.  For should they run across  this impediment with one end wedged into the mud in the bottom of the river, the boat’s bottom might be ruined.  It was in avoiding hidden dangers such as these that the skipper of the Highlander ran his boat very slowly.

Last night at 6 o’clock Mr. E. J. Watson received a telegram from Fort Motte announcing that the Highlander had passed through the draw bridge near there at noon yesterday.  Accompanied by a party of Columbians Mr. Watson drove to the landing back of the Granby mill which is used by the government people who are building the dam across the river.  No boat was there.  The party walked out on the coffer dam which extends half way across the river and inspected the work which has been done by the government.

The Government Works.

The locks on the Lexington side of the river have been completed at a cost of a quarter of a million dollars, and half of the permanent dam has been completed – starting from the Lexington side.  The coffer dam for the construction of the remaining half of the permanent dam has been finished, or will be this week, and the entire dam will be intact by the 1st of July.  The coffer dam is an immense circular basin surrounding the place upon which the permanent dam will be erected, and keeps the river out while the masons are at work.

As soon as the dam is finished the Highlander will be able to come into the locks and to float up the river to the foot of Senate street, where the wharf will be located.  For the present the landing at old Granby will used and the cargo will be brought into the city on drays.  The agency of the dam will be to deepen the water between that point and Gervais street in order that boats may pass over the boulders in the bed of the stream.  However, the dam will be constructed with due regard to the canal, and the water power of that agency of manufactures will not be affected.

While examining the work on the dams the party from Columbia observed a light far off down the river.  The watchman declared this to be fishermen out on the stream, but presently there was a noise unmistakably that of a steamer, and for an hour the lights were watched eagerly as they swung closer to the city.  First there was one tiny speck, then two, and finally the signal light was seen clearly, and then the outline of the boat from bow to stern.  The Highlander stopped several hundred yards down the river from the dam and tied up at the landing at old Granby – one of the forgotten towns of South Carolina, a place once populous, now as deserted as is Hamburg, once Augusta’s competitor.

As there is a broad creek between the government works and the old Granby landing the visitors from the city engaged the services of a boatman and went down the river in a skiff to be the first to board the boat of which so much is expected in behalf of Columbia’s upbuilding.

The Highlander a New Boat.

The Highlander is a new boat, built in November, 1901, and every day that she has been in service she has been handled by the veteran river master, Capt. Jas. C. Smith, who has seen 32 years’ service on inland waterways, and yet is willing to admit that he does not know all about river channels.  However, his successful trip with the Highlander adds to his fame as a river captain, and he has brought the boat through in great shape.  It is over a month since the steamer left Wilmington, having been tied up at Southport for nearly three weeks waiting for the Atlantic ocean to offer a favorable opportunity for the run down the coast to Georgetown.  With Capt. Smith are the following officers of the crew:  LeRoy Smith, mate; James Peeples, chief mate and F. T. Gaskill, ship carpenter.  Mr. Gaskill is the builder of the boat, and Capt. Smith declares it to be the sturdiest river craft he has ever managed in his 32 years of navigation.  The hull is four inches in thickness and will stand a lot of hard knocks.

Henry Izard, a colored pilot, came with the boat and showed the way to Columbia, for he has made the trip before with government tugs.  Mr. Leroy Smith stayed by the wheel all the time and made a careful chart of the stream, giving in detail the location of every apparent and every suspected obstruction.  On the return trip he will use these memoranda as a guide and will note the appearance of other obstructions.  In this way it may be possible to shorten the time in which the trip can be made.

It is 49 miles from Columbia to the Santee, and this part of the trip was made easily, for having bucked the 15 {?} foot rise in the Santee the skipper found that the current of the Congaree had been checked by the high water in the larger stream.

An Exploring Expedition.

“From the way they tried to discourage us in Georgetown, said Capt. Smith, “one would have thought that there was a stick of dynamite at every turn of the river, but we got through all right.  We are on what is virtually an exploring expedition, and had to keep a sharp lookout for snags.  I don’t know yet where the best water is and can shorten the trip when I learn the river a little better.”  He has been a boat captain on the St. John’s and St. Mary’s rivers in Florida and the Cape Fear and Northeast rivers in North Carolina, and has the air of a man of rare intelligence upon matters of river navigation.

There was but a small cargo aboard, the first people to receive consignments of groceries being Messrs. J. B. Friday and J. B. Gallant, who have aboard a shipment of molasses, and Mr. L. B. Dozier gets a consignment of fixtures for gas pipes.  The Highlander will not return until a good consignment is aboard as the initial trip has been very expensive.  The river was low yesterday, one foot and nine inches above the very lowest, and Mr. Love is gratified that the boat has made the trip with no mishap in such conditions.

The Highlander will be tied up at old Granby today, and Mr. Love will have the boat in readiness for inspection by visitors.  It is not an ocean steamer, not a pretentious vessel, but it will answer every purpose required of it, and is quite a “find.”  Columbia was able to get the use of this boat without making a purchase, for there are too many boats operating on the Cape Fear between Wilmington and Fayetteville.  If this venture pays, a second boat will be arranged for.  Mr. Love stated last night that all he asks is a reasonable amount of freight at a fair rate of toll.

The Boat’s Dimensions.

While essentially a freight boat, the Highlander will carry passengers and has berths for 37.  There are two nice staterooms for passengers in addition to the officers’ quarters and there is also the ladies’ cabin with berths and the gentlemen’s cabin with a number of cozy bunks.  The Highlander is 135 feet long over all, 100 feet at the water line, and 23 feet wide on the beam.  The wheel and the machinery are in the stern.  Capt. Smith makes the assertion that a side wheeler like the Clark would be almost useless on the river.  The Highlander draws 23 inches and loaded to its full capacity of 123 tons will draw but 3 1-2 feet.  The tonnage is equivalent to the capacity of six box cars, and with two trips a week, as it is expected the regular schedule will afford, the Highlander should do a lot of hauling between Columbia and the coast, the consignments being transferred to ocean going vessels at Georgetown.

When the Columbia party got aboard the mate by request gave three long pulls at the whistle, and the deep, musical notes reverberated over the forest telling the city of Columbia that at 8.30 p. m., on the night of the 20th of March, 1904, she had become an “inland port.”

[The State – Columbia, SC – March 21, 1904]



The Business men of Columbia Have

a Fine Day’s Outing on the New

Boat “Highlander.” Just Bought

for the Route Between Columbia

and Georgetown.

Columbia. March 22 — Special: Sand bars can get in the way of navigation in upcountry streams as well as on the coast. Uncle Sam has not been lavish in expending money on the Congaree River, and it has been comparatively a recent matter that any considerable attention has been paid even to the possibility of navigating the Congaree up to Granby, within the shadow of Columbia. There has been but little time and less money to get the snags and longs [?logs?] out of the river as they ought to be and no opportunity to handle sand bars.

When the Highlander came to Columbia her officers held up their hands in horror at the fierce sand bar at Congaree Creek. There was a procession of snags on one side and a perfect beach of sand on the other. They looked upon this as the danger point. The remainder of the trip from Columbia to Georgetown, 214 miles, is said to be easy sailing. At 1 o’clock to-day the Highlander left her temporary landing to make a trial trip and show the citizens of Columbia what the boat could do and the unexpected possibilities of the river, but the dreaded sand bar proved too much to carry out the trip as arranged. When the Highlander struck the sand bar it proved too much for her and the excursionists will see the river below Congaree some other time. The trip down to the obstruction was fine and the Highlander sped along as if accustomed to the river, but there was absolutely nothing to show the channel. The Highlander came up the river Sunday night and passed this very bar then, but the river was at dead low water to-day, and is said to have fallen six inches since Sunday. For four hours and a half the Highlander wrestled with the bar, but finally managed to get away and returned to her landing place, from which she left, after an abbreviated but none the less enjoyable and instructive trip.

Columbia is deeply interested in her water route and will now lend her energy to having the Congaree cleaned out so that boats like the Highlander can spin up and down the river. The Highlander is a larger boat than was expected for this river. She is a new boat and built for carrying both passengers and freight. The business interests here are deeply interested in the development and the party that went out on the trip to-day after but a few hours notice, indicates the interest that is being taken in the matter.

Among the passengers to-day were: Governor D. C. Heyward, Attorney General U. X. Gunter and Commissioner of Immigration and Commerce E. J. Watson, the retiring secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, and the clerk of this o1/8ce, [?office?] Mr. C. D. Barksdale. The city of Columbia was represented by Mayor F. S. Earle, Recorder Charles C. Stanley and Aldermen-elect Charles J. Lynch and B. R. Cooner. The banking interest was represented by Mr. E. W. Robertson, president of the National Loan and Exchange Bank; Mr. Edward Ehrlich, vice president; Mr. T. S. Bryan, of the Carolina National Bank, and Messrs J. P. Matthews and Wm Gibbes, Jr. of the Palmetto Bank and Trust Company. The press was represented by August Kohn, of The News and Courier; C. M Galloway, of the State, and Messrs A. H. Seats and R. L. Cureton of the Evening Record, and Mr C. C. Little, of the Southern Advertising Agency. The manufacturing interest was represented by Wm A. Heath, Wm A. Otis of the Columbia Manufacturing Company; W. J. Murray and others. The wholesale interest was represented by Messrs B. R. Cooner, L. B. Dozier, J. D. Miot, C. Atkinson, P. H. Lachicott and others. Representing other interests of Columbia there were aboard, E. B. Clark, the newly elected secretary of the Chamber of Commerce; W. D. Love, assistant secretary; R. W. Shand, W. B. Guimarin, W. R. Fishburne, George P. Logan, Joe Berry Lyles, J. B. Letton, J. M. Green, W. D. Lever, H. S. Cathcart, W. D. Starling, R. H. and H. N. Edmunds, E. B. Taylor, W. C. McMillan, Dr S. B. Fishburne, W. W. Abbott, Dr Sam Cox, A. R. Stewart, J. J. McMahon, L. T. Wilds, E. O. Black, T. B. Meacham, representing the Murray Drug Company, and others.

Mr. E. B. Clark, the newly elected secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, received a number of telegrams of regret from gentlemen invited to go on the initial trip, who were unable to join the party. The fact that the Highlander, a 130 – ton freight boat, came up to Columbia from Georgetown in the dryest season, shows what can and has been done, and settles the practicability of the line and development.

A. K.

[The News and Courier — Wednesday Morning, March 23, 1904]

From Columbia to Georgetown in
Twenty-three Hours.
Satisfactory Through Traffic Arrangements
With the Clyde Line Have Been Made.

The Highlander, the first boat to run on the Congaree, made its first trip to Georgetown in 23 hours, without a mishap or a delay, arriving in Georgetown Thursday morning.  It will not be known until today just what day the boat will leave Georgetown on its return trip.  It will bring back an assorted cargo.

A telegram received last night bore the cheerful information that an agreement had been reached for the thorough traffic arrangements with the Clyde line.  Manager Love, who returned to Columbia yesterday from a trip to New York, Wilmington, Georgetown and other points, is now soliciting freight shipments among the merchants here.

Capt. Tamplett is accomplishing good work with the government snag boat on the Congaree and hopes to have the river entirely free of obstructions in the near future.  He has removed half the longs on Congaree shoal, where the Highlander struck trouble and bottom on the occasion of its first trip down the river and is fighting the remainder gallantly.

The navigation committee of the Chamber of Commerce meets at noon today.  The directors’ meeting will be held on Monday.

[The State – Columbia, SC – April 09, 1904]

To Be Here Sundays and in
Georgetown Wednesdays.
Schedule of Rates Adopted – To Build
Warehouse and Establish Dray
Line – Excursions This Week.

Important business was transacted at the meeting yesterday of the navigation committee of the Chamber of Commerce.  A regular schedule for the Highlander’s runs between here and Georgetown was fixed so as to have the Columbia boat meet the Clyde line’s New York steamers there on Wednesdays and exchange cargoes with them, and the rates of freight were agreed upon in practically every detail.  Those merchants desiring to use the line are asked to send to the Chamber of Commerce for a copy of the rate schedule.

The Highlander, which is now at Georgetown, will leave that port tomorrow, arriving here Wednesday night with a cargo of molasses and canned goods.

The boat will put in the remainder of this week here, making daily excursions down the river.

On Monday week the operation of the regular schedule begins.  This will be:  Leave Columbia Mondays at noon, arrive at Georgetown Wednesdays at noon; leave Georgetown Thursday 5 a. m., arrive Columbia Saturday nights and lay over here Sundays.

The committee made arrangements looking to the erection of a terminal warehouse at the old Granby landing and the establishment of a dray line from the warehouse to the doors of the Columbia mercantile houses.  This method will be used until the completion of the government dam and the establishment of the Gervais street landing, when another warehouse will be built, another dray line established and more boats put on the river.

Clyde line steamers leave New York Saturdays and arrive Georgetown Wednesdays, and the Highlander’s schedule was blocked out to fit into the Clyde line’s schedule.  The Highlander will carry out a cargo of cotton goods from Columbia Monday week.

The Highlander will make stops at the regular landings along the river going and coming, and it is expected that a fine local freight business will be done at once and that this will rapidly increase.

[The State – Columbia, SC – April 10, 1904]

Advertisement in the State - 16 April, 1904

Advertisement in the State – 16 April, 1904

Advertisement in the State - 16th April, 1904

Advertisement in the State – 16th April, 1904

“Highlander” is Not Getting
Enough Outgoing Freight.
The Regular Trips of the Boat Commenced
Two Months Ago and Results Are Fairly Satisfactory.

There was a numerously attended and an enthusiastic joint meeting last night of the river navigation committee of the Chamber of Commerce and subscribers to the Highlander’s subsidy fund.  The meeting went over the situation  in detail, receiving full reports from Manager Love as to the business done by the boat since it began its regular trips about 60 days ago.

These reports showed that while the business is steadily increasing it is still far short of what it should be and it was decided to ask for an increase of the subsidy.  A majority of the Columbia merchants have already subscribed, but there are still many who have not.

The committee will at an early date personally see these merchants whose names are not on the list, and in addition will ask subscriptions from other classes of business men.  The boat needs more outgoing business.  She could also haul more incoming freight, and plenty of this could be obtained if the merchants would take the precaution to instruct shipment via the Clyde line in care of the Highlander.

The inability of the Highlander to secure business enough to meet expenses is due in a large measure, however, to the generally slack season in the movements of freight.

[The State – Columbia, SC – June 11, 1904]

A Sad Blow to Columbia

The Congaree Steamer Highlander
Destroyed by Fire.

Columbia, S. C. June 16. — News was received at midnight of the burning of the river steamer Highlander, at a point twenty-five miles from Georgetown. The boat was totally destroyed. It was valued at $12,000, with $3,000 insurance. it was built in Wilmington, N. C., three years ago and owned by T. D. Love, of that city. The boat carried no cargo.

[The News and Courier – Charleston, S.C. – Friday Morning, June 17, 1904]

Burned Near Georgetown on
Downward Trip.
Manager T. D. Love Received Telegram
Giving Information, but Furnishing
No Details – No Cargo Aboard.

Manager T. D. Love of the Highlander was greatly surprised and profoundly shocked last night by a telegram which came to him at midnight from Capt. J. C. Smith saying the boat had been burned 25 miles above Georgetown.  The telegram gave no particulars and nothing is known here as to the origin of the fire.  The telegram was dated Georgetown and simply said “Highlander lost by fire 24 miles above Georgetown.  Total loss.”

The boat was on its way to Georgetown at the time and had no cargo.  The vessel was practically new, having been built only three years ago, and was valued at $12,000.  It was insured for only $3,000, with J. H. Boatwright & Son at Wilmington, N. C.

Although the telegram says “total loss,”  Manager Love is of the opinion that much of the machinery may be saved.  The loss falls heavily on Mr. Love – he and not the Chamber of Commerce being the owner.

The Highlander was the first and only boat on the line the Chamber of Commerce instituted this spring to give Columbia water connection with the coast.  The business has steadily increased since the first trips and arrangements had just been made for hauling cotton, which would greatly relieve the situation and for which the Chamber of Commerce had been working for several months.

Just what steps will be taken to put another boat in commission on the river cannot be said at this time, but there is no doubt but that this will be done as quickly as the Chamber of Commerce can make the arrangements.

[The State – Columbia, SC – June 17, 1904]

Steamer Highlander Destroyed by
Fire Last Thursday Morning.
No Lives Lost.

Last Thersday morning about 9 0’clock, the Steamer Highlander which runs from this port to Columbia, was totally destroyed by fire on the Santee River, near Fawn Hill landing.  The boat was a total wreck in thirty minutes after the fire started.  Fawn Hill is about 25 miles from this city.

An OUTLOOK man interviewed Capt. J. R. S. Sian, who was making a trip with the boat, in regard to the accident.  He said no one knew how the fire originated.  One of the deck hands first saw the fire and gave the alarm.

“Both Capt. Smith and myself,” said Capt. Sian, “were sick and lying down when the alarm was given.  Buckets of water were thrown on the blaze and in a few minutes the pumps were started, but the boat burned like tinder, having a strong head wind, and in thirty minutes she was ompletely destroyed.  The fire was first seen over the boiler.”

In getting out Capt. Sian lost a gold watch and a rifle.  Capt. Smith lost about $300 in personal effects.  Capt. J. C. Smith, Capt. J. R. S. Sian, Mate Leroy Smith, Pilot Henry Izard and eight deck hands were on board.  All escaped without injury.

As soon as it was found that the boat could not be saved, she was ran ashore and the crew jumped off.  Capt. Sian said that the negroes were completely panic stricken and could not get them to do anything at all.  The Highlander only had a very light load of freight.  She was valued at $12,000 and had $3,000 insurance.  Capt. Smith hired a cart and brought the crew to the city.  They got in about 9 o’clock Thursday night.

Mr. E. C. Haselden had about $100 worth of goods lost on the boat.  Information from Columbia advised us that another boat will be secured and put on from Columbia to Georgetown.

[The Sunday Outlook – Georgetown, SC – June 18, 1904]

NOTE:  Capt. J. R. S. Sian mentioned in the article above is much more likely to be Capt. James Richard Sparkman Siau (b. 1851 – d. 1912).  Apparently a typesetter’s transposition error.

After “City of Fayetteville.”

Yesterday afternoon’s Columbia Record said:  “Negotiations are now on foot for the magnificent steamer, “City of Fayetteville,” for the river work here, and to-morrow a representative of the company from Wilmington will come here and confer with the boat committee.  To-day a telegram was received from Mr. W. S. Cook, the president of the Merchants and Farmers’ Steamboat Company, of Fayetteville and Wilmington, offering the boat provided satisfactory arrangements can be made for its running on the same commission as that given Mr. T. D. Love.  One of the company’s representatives will be here and the whole matter will be discussed at the next meeting.”

[Wilmington Star – July 7, 1904]

To Rebuild the Highlander.

The stockholders of the Merchants and Farmers’ steamboat Company held a meeting in Wilmington yesterday, with Mr. Oliver Evans, of this city, presiding, and decided to rebuild the Highlander, which was recently destroyed between Georgetown and Columbia, S. C.  Bids for the purchase of the machinery of the burned steamer “Highlander” were received and opened, but none of them was considered satisfactory.  The stockholders decided to recover the machinery from the river near Georgetown, S. C., for themselves and to rebuild the boat as early as practicable.  The machinery will be brought to Wilmington and the boat will be rebuilt there.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, July 21, 1904]

NOTES:  E. J. Watson, was Commissioner of the S.C. Dept. of Agriculture in 1908.  In 1903, he was Secretary of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, and was instrumental in getting the “Highlander” to come to Columbia in 1904.

“…  The river service of this time is creditable.  In 1903 the Congaree was again opened to navigation, after having been closed to such service for many long years, and this meant the application of water freight rates to the heart of the State from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Pittsburg by reason of the connection of the Congaree boat line at Columbia with the Clyde Steamship Company’s line at the port of Georgetown.  This has been the most important inland water transportation event of recent times, its full value scarcely yet being fully appreciated.  Through the work of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce the line was opened, the first boat, “The Highlander,” being brought down from Fayetteville, N. C., under her own steam and placed on the Congaree in the spring of 1904.  With proper efforts in New York, the water rates were secured through the active intermediate of the State Department of Agriculture, Commerce and Immigration.  Up to this time Columbia was an impossibility as a distributing or wholesale center, Augusta, Savannah and even Atlanta selling under possible Columbia prices up to within fifteen miles of the city.  Since this event one Columbia wholesale house has been selling in fifteen States.

The first boat was accidentally destroyed by fire on the Santee, this accident occurring the very day the reduced rates on cotton manufactured product were secured in New York.  Since then the business interests of Columbia have builded and are operating regularly their own steamer, the “City of Columbia,” and a great impetus has been given the wholesale and distributing business.  Additional steamers are now needed.  All interior towns within a radius of fifty miles of Columbia have benefited.”

[ Excerpt from Handbook of South Carolina – Second Edition 1908, by South Carolina Department of Agriculture, Ebbie Julian Watson. ]

Signature of E. J.Watson

Signature of E. J.Watson

The “City of Fayetteville.”

The steamer City of Fayetteville, which has been tied up in Wilmington for a month or two having her boilers replaced by those of the old Highlander, which were recently recovered from the river near Georgetown, S. C., where the steamer burned, will be put in commission again this week.  It is understood that Mr. S. P. McNair will have charge of the affairs of the steamer at this end of the line.  The old boilers in the boat were too expensive to steam for the river operation.  A number of other improvements have also been made to the “Fayetteville.”

[Wilmington Star – October 14, 1906]

NOTE:  I am supposing that this photo of the Steamer CITY OF FAYETTEVILLE shows one of her original boilers in the foreground near her bow.  However, I am not sure of this.

S. P. McNair

Mr. Sion P. McNair

[NOTE: On pages 41-42 of Earl White’s book, Carolina Riverboats and Rivers – The-Old-Days, mention is made of several steamboats upon the Congaree in 1904.  A picture of the steamer, listed as the City of Columbia, is shown on page 42 and acknowledgement given to the Cayce Museum.  This notation was in error, because the picture on page 42 is the same as shown by RCPL as the image of the steamer Highlander.  I briefly visited the Cayce Museum, in December of 2008, and viewed a collage in which they displayed the above picture, as the Highlander, and not the City of Columbia.

[NOTE: This image of the CITY OF COLUMBIA shows that the smokestack is behind the pilot house, as does the image from the link below of the City of Columbia.  When both of these images are compared to that of the HIGHLANDER, you see that the Highlander’s smokestack was extremely forward of the pilot house.

NOTE:  Compare the images of the steamer “City of Columbia” found on page 352 [ of Columbia Capital City of South Carolina 1786 – 1936, edited by Helen Kohn Hennig with a Mid-Century Supplement 1936 – 1966 by Charles E. Lee, Director, S. C. Archives Department ] with the RCPL Flickr image of the steamer “Highlander”.  *Helen Kohn Hennig was the daughter of August Kohn, of the News and Courier.  See from the above article, “Excursion on the Congaree,”  that August Kohn was “the press” member who was aboard the Highlander.


I would like to thank Debbie Bloom, the Local History Manager, of the Richland County Public Library in Columbia, South Carolina for her assistance and diligence in helping me find the source of the image of the steamer Highlander which was posted to the RCPL Flickr site. The source was not obvious, and appeared to be clipped from a newspaper account. After I had exhausted the possibilities of the image having been printed in the State newspaper, it seemed near hopeless that it would be found.

But, as she was “looking for something else… … there was the steamboat image.” She chalked the find up to “serendipity.”

The article appears to have been a City of Columbia (Chamber of Commerce?) promotional print, probably first published in 1904, but having been reprinted in 1962, which was the RCPL image source.

Debbie is also the author of  “the Dead Librarian” blog, the purpose of which is “designed to help South Carolina family historians search for obituaries and death notices online.”

Columbia, SC 1904 Chamber of Commerce flyer.

The image of the Steamer HIGHLANDER was gleaned from the Columbia, SC 1904 Chamber of Commerce flyer.

The Cape Fear River Steamers

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Posted by on April 11, 2009 in The Boats


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